Monday, June 28, 2004

A Microsoft blog

Not all Mac guys are bad. Really. And if you're the type who likes to start MS Word in a debugger, Buggin' My Life Away is the blog for you. It's a bit technical, full of all sorts of under-the-hood details about Word, Macs, and Microsoft then and now.

Word is almost inescapable these days. How many of us even remember the competitors? WordStar? WordPerfect? Ami Pro? I know as a matter of faith that there are plenty of bugs in Word, yet somehow I never seem to run into them.

For all the crap we hear about Microsoft products, consider this. As blogger Schaut tells us, in Word we have:
  • More than 850 command functions (e.g. Bold and Italic are the same command function)

  • More than 1600 distinct commands (e.g. Bold and Italic are distinct commands)

  • At any given time roughly 50% of these commands are enabled (conservative estimate)

  • With just 3 steps, the possible combinations of code execution paths exceeds 500 million
Whether software ought to be that complex is another question, but there's no denying that making it work for millions of customers for hours a day the world over is a formidable accomplishment.

Anyway, I'll be back there once in a while. It's definitely worth a look.

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